Wii & Price

Well I think Nintendo made their first big mistake in the Wii wars. Honestly I thought the change to Wii from Revolution was good, I too liked Revolution better but I’m the gamer, they are looking for more than the gamer. I think the Wii was more attractive to a wider audience, so overall it was a good move on their part. I think holding out all their information until a couple months till launch was a good move. Sony proved to the world why they SHOULD continue to not tell anyone anything at E3 by having a controller with very weak motion sensing capabilities (therefore stealing Nintendo’s idea from half a year previous). But I can’t agree with their release date, and especially their price.

Nintendo Wii is coming soon.The release date I am actually kind of torn on. November 19 in the Americas (although I do find South America to be included in this date rather shocking) and Japan on December 2 (I’m guessing Europe will see somewhere around Dec. 20 and Australia may not see it until 2007). Ok this number is actually where I figured they might end up. This is why I’m torn, it is after PS3. I was hoping beyond hope that they would pull out a shocker and say end of October, or at the very least first week of November to beat Sony to the punch worldwide. But they didn’t. Could this hurt them? Yeah. At Sony’s price, people may not have the cash for Nintendo. That being said, there seems to be a rather large amount of resentment towards Sony’s price and I don’t know how many people are going to even buy it (It will likely sell out only because they are only shipping a few hundred thousand units, which heck the NES could probably sell if Nintendo reshipped it). And in a way, shipping the Wii after the PS3 is a way of telling Sony that Nintendo just doesn’t care anymore about Sony, that to Nintendo, Sony is irrelevant which is a bitch slap coming from Nintendo. So it is good and it is bad, I think this is more just a case of what I was hoping. Even though the DS came out in US first, I was still thinking they’d launch the Wii in US a few weeks after Japan. Oh well, many have noted they are a dieing market, at least they get a cheaper price.

As for price. I think this is Nintendo’s real mistake. They are launching at $250 in the US, $220 in Japan. In US the system will come with Wii Sports, in Japan not so much. I honestly hope that they ship a non-wii sports version fairly quickly for $200 because that could own if I don’t buy one right away. But I think $250 is risky because I have no doubt that Microsoft will announce a price drop and if they drop to $300 for their system, all of a sudden the 360 seems like a better deal than the Wii which is not good at all. I mean after all the 360 has way better graphic capabilities, a more mature arcade environment, and it has Hard Drive & HD-DVD capability. Now I figured Wii Sports would be pack-in, and it does add some value to the system, but is it enough? Do enough people care? I think this is a nod to the American culture which has complained about the lack of sports titles for the N64 & the Gamecube. Well they are giving us sports titles for a discounted price now. But I figured if they launched at $250 that they’d also have 2 controllers and 2 nunchukus packed in as well, but they only have 1 of each. This takes a way value in my eyes. I think 2 controllers, a game, and the system for $250 would have been fine. Especially since not everyone is going to want the game. I don’t particularly. I would rather have the Wii for $200 and then be able to pick my game. I also argued much of the talk that maybe they would have a coupon for a free Virtual Console Game and I think that this would be more appropriate for a pack-in game because people could choose what they got and it also got them involved with online system early which is good!

Anyway I still think it will do well. It is still a decent price and beats out the competition (for the PS3 it beats it by a lot!). But it just lowers my value of the system as a whole. At $200 it would have been a no-brainer for much of the world. Maybe the higher price is indicating that they realize that the system will sell out to start regardless and they might as well make the money, but I do hope that they put up a cheaper version fairly quickly because I may not be buying the system right away.